August 15, 2001
The Tabernacle-Atlanta, GA
Aimee Echos horrible cold didnt stop her from delivering all she had as opener for tonights show. She and the rest of theStart delivered a high energy, high impact performance that brought to mind 1981 Los Angeles new wave ala Missing Persons. Her band mates had the sickly makeup, skinny ties and at least one Mohawk. Aimee stalked the edge of the stage with black stockings on her arms looking like the sister of Ally Sheedys character from The Breakfast Club. Bubbly Cars-like keyboards were propelled forward by rock guitars and a thundering rhythm section. Songs like Gorgeous and especially Shakedown were like fireballs being launched at the newly converted crowd. They were heavier and more satisfying live than on their too-slick new CD and the people in attendance clearly enjoyed their brief introduction to the band.
click here for an exclusive interview with Aimee Echo of theStart!
Next up was Kid Rocks protégé Uncle Kracker. Sliding into the spooky, slinky groove of Aces And Eights he instantly proved that he was not just a clone of his mentor. Kracker and his crew delivered a sincere melodic performance that relied heavily on actual songs rather than metal/rap posing and territorial pissing. Songs like Whiskey In The Water and Better Days had the gathered singing along early. Uncle Kracker is one of the few artists to successfully mix hardcore country with rap and seventies pop to create something intriguing. Not only did the set include Heaven which puts together Hank Williams Jr.s If Heaven Aint A Lot Like Dixie with a hip hop track, but he added a bit of GunsN Roses Paradise City to the tune. A great cover of Dobie Grays 70s AM radio chestnut Drift Away was also a strange and wonderfully well-done surprise. Near the end of his set he slid Lynyrd Skynyrds All I Can Do Is Write About It into a twangy southern flavored take on You Shook Me All Night Long. The double shot ending of his hits Follow Me and Yeah Yeah Yeah only solidified Krackers claim at being a strong solo artist apart from Kid Rock. While not as flamboyantly entertaining as Kid, Kracker actually has stronger songs and potentially a longer lasting career.